Are you considering a complete home renovation? It might be a good idea… or it might not. Check out this list of 10 critical things to consider before you start.
With the popularity of HGTV and shows like the Property Brothers, renovations are popular. But should they be? A complete home renovation is nothing to mess around with.
Unless you’ve got big funds and big patience, don’t even bother messing around with the idea. Buying brand new is almost always better, but we’ll let you make up your own mind.
Walk through ten reasons to stay and buy new below.
Reasons to Do a Complete Home Renovation
Moving is a hassle, but doing a complete home makeover is no walk in the park either. If you think a renovation may be appropriate, then check out these points below.
Reason to Stay 1: School Zones
If you live near schools you love, that’s a reason to stay. You don’t know that you’ll find another place to live in the same school zone. That means pulling your kids out of school or figuring out how to drive them across town and get to work in the morning.
Best case scenario, you could hire a nanny to take the kids to school and pick them up. But how reasonable is that? Not only do you have to find someone qualified, but someone willing to get up early.
Not many people are willing to split their day with a morning and afternoon shift (dropoff and pickup). So, either you’ll have to settle for two nannies or interview a ton of people.
Staying in One School is Better for Kids
According to this expert opinion, it’ better for kids to stay in the same school as long as possible. They make relationships with teachers and classmates that last their whole education long.
Your child may not have classes with someone older than them, but they mix on the playground. Having an older friend expands your child’s interests and pushes their abilities/intellect.
Having younger friends is also beneficial. Many children like to have someone that follows them around like younger children are known to do.
Have siblings? It’s great for them to see each other at lunch or on the playground. Not only that, but the teacher teaching your oldest will learn about your youngest through family interaction. That means your youngest will get a more personalized education than their older sibling.
Fair to the eldest? Maybe not, but they won’t mind paving the way for their annoying but lovable little friend.
Reason to Stay #2: Neighborhood Friends
Growing up in the same neighborhood your whole life or even a chunk of your life creates a sense of community. You, as adults, get to know the people who can water your plants and let the handyman in while you’re away.
You make friends and can repay the favors they perform for you when they’re out of town.
When and if you have kids, they form relationships with your friend’s children. They can run over to their friend’s house and get out of your hair for a while.
Sleepovers, sharing pools, and backyard playsets are all reasons to build relationships. You can even get to know your child’s friend’s older siblings and use them as a sometimes babysitter.
We’re not saying that you won’t make new friends if you move, but why break up harmonious relationships?
Reason to Stay #3: Buying a Home is a Hassle
When you look into buying a home, it’s really a three-step process. You can’t just go pick a house you like and buy it. Or maybe you can, if you’re rolling in dough.
For most of us, though, we have to sell our current home to come up with the capital to buy a new one. That means getting it appraised, fixing what needs fixing and putting it on the market.
In our humble opinion, you’ll only lose money if you try to do for sale by owner. That means finding a realtor and then paying them closing fees and whatever else they want.
Then there are the moving costs. You may not pay for movers if you’re just going across town, but you’ll need a van. That’s a couple hundred bucks, without gas. You may need to bribe friends and family to help you load and unload furniture.
You’ll still have to move furniture when you remodel – but at least you can work one room at a time. If you’ve hired contractors as part of your remodel, they may chip in and help you move anything heavy.
Reasons to Buy New
Sometimes, as we see from the HGTV show “Love it or List it” your old house can’t give you everything you want. Even if there’s a team of capable designers and contractors who listen to their every word.
Most of the time, unless the house has been in your family for ages or you’re in a competitive school district, the best choice is to move.
That’s especially true when it comes to build-to-suit houses. Who wouldn’t want to get every single thing on their wishlist, and then some?
Reason to Buy New #1: Better Schools
If you’re looking at a built-to-suit home that’s in a better school district, what are you waiting for? Your child’s education in their primary years gets them everywhere in life.
We’re not exaggerating. Kids learn basics in primary and middle school that get them through college. Times tables, reading skills, social skills – all build on each other as kids grow.
Reason to Buy New #2: Renovations are Expensive
When you do a renovation, you don’t have the capital you’d have if you just sold your own home. You have to come up with deposits and payment plans out of your own pocket.
When you buy a new and built-to-suit home, you have a traditional mortgage. You can use your money from the sale of your old home to put down a deposit on your forever home. If you’re lucky, you spring enough to get all the extras you want.
Have more detailed questions about renovations? Read more here.
Reason to Buy New #3: Appliances
Do you know what the average kitchen renovation costs when you switch out for updated appliances? Ten to twenty thousand dollars. That’s what most people spend on a wedding.
When you by a new home, those appliances are already included in the sale price. You don’t have to throw the whole charge on a credit card or set up any fancy financing payment plans.
Your new stove, fridge, and dishwasher are all there and ready to use.
Reason to Buy New #4: Time
If you try to do a complete home renovation, it always takes at least a week longer than you’re quoted. More realistically, you’re looking at 2-3 weeks extra.
At least one thing you order will be on backorder or you’ll run out and have to order more. That on top of longer-than-predicted drying times or setting times, something always pushes the deadline out.
If you’re doing a renovation on your bedroom or living spaces, then you have to pay for a hotel longer or keep living off of canned goods and a microwave.
Reason to Buy New #5: Yard Space
When you buy new builds, they usually are on large lots. That means you have more room for kiddos and dogs to run around. Go ahead and build that treehouse or playset in the backyard.
What about a pool? You may be able to add a pool onto your build package or you’ll have to contract out. Either way, you’ll have the room to play with.
Reason to Buy New #6: No Surprise Costs
When you do a renovation, you will absolutely, without a doubt go over budget. There’s always at least one surprising thing you find in your walls or floors that needs fixing.
Then, even though you didn’t buy a new house, renovations that expand the house result in higher property taxes.
Reason to Buy New #7: Brand New and Perfect
When you buy a brand new built house, you don’t have to put up with anything you don’t like. That means no rooms you have to change the carpet in, no light fixtures you have to change, it’s literally turn-key.
The same goes for community amenities. Most new neighborhoods have pools, clubhouses, or at the very least a playground where kids can gather.
Do the best thing for your kids and give them the house they deserve.
Skip the Complete Home Renovation
In the end, it makes more sense to buy a house that’s built or at least finished to your exact liking. It’s cheaper, quicker, and better for everyone involved.
You can skip the over-budget and too-long process of a complete home renovation. As an added bonus, the house will be clean post-construction, unlike your renovation. You’re responsible for post-reno cleanup and that takes much longer than you’d think.
Don’t put yourself and your family through that.